Title: Little White Lies
Author: R.C. Matthews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Crimson Romance
Source: Author via Tour Company
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
About the Book:
When attorney Madalyn Russell dumps her fiancé at the altar, she temporarily escapes the scrutiny of her friends and family on her honeymoon cruise. Too bad she forgot she is assigned to dine at the “newlywed” table on the fully booked cruise. Goodbye exquisite cuisine, hello standard buffet fare. Nothing will tempt her to enter that lion’s den. Or so she thinks.
When the board of directors orders devilishly handsome Royce Spencer to seek rest alone on a cruise, he sets his sights on Madalyn and offers a deliciously indecent proposal to her dining room dilemma. He’ll pose as her husband in exchange for companionship during the cruise. Royce is a gifted liar with a great sense of humor that has everyone at the newlywed table laughing and no one suspecting the truth.Is the opportunity to enjoy all the ship has to offer worth the little white lies they'll have to tell? What is it about Royce that makes Madalyn want to engage in a fling at the age of thirty for the first time in her life and toss her tightly held beliefs overboard?
The whirlwind love affair catches them both by surprise. Is it possible that in the midst of all the little white lies, they will each discover their soul mate? And when Royce is accused of white-collar crime with Madalyn as his key witness, will Madalyn finally learn that life is not always as black and white as it seems?
A copy of this title was provided via Author via Tour Company for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Twenty minutes later, she entered the Valley of the Kings Dining Room with stories of the exquisite and elegant dining experience on a cruise ship bouncing through her head. Warm hues of red, orange, and yellow covering the bi-level room walls were reminiscent of a burning sunset in the desert night. Together with the soft background music, the dining room was warm and inviting. The colorfully dressed wait staff bustled about in celebration of “Fiesta” night. Her mouth was already watering from the lingering smell of refried beans and sizzling fajitas. What other tantalizing dishes awaited her?
Looking around, she wondered if Susie and Liz were assigned to sit in the same dining room. She made a mental note to ask them later. Was it too late to request a change in seating arrangements? She hoped not. If only she had thought of this earlier when she had time to kill by the pool.
She could hardly contain her curiosity as she approached her assigned table, but when she caught a first glimpse of three glowing couples, an inexplicable feeling washed over her. One of the women extended her hand to the couple seated across the table, showing them a huge rock on her finger. In that moment, Madalyn noticed the banner hanging on the wall: “Congratulations Newlyweds!” Her light mood suddenly evaporated as a tornado of emotions swept her up into her own personal hell. Her stomach lurched and twisted in the maelstrom.
How in the hell could she have forgotten this little detail? She bypassed the table and circled around the dining room, making a speedy exit. Her mouth felt parched while her knees grew weaker with every step. She couldn’t fathom sitting at a table with three newlywed couples. How humiliating to have to explain her situation to them, to listen to their pity. Or even worse, endure their contempt. Damn it!
Flames of red-hot shame crept up her neck and into her cheeks. With her gaze steady on the floor, she hoped nobody could see the tears that burned in her eyes. She exited the dining room and lifted her hand to her face, as if to rub an eyelash away, catching a tear that escaped, and collided head on with another passenger.
Madalyn gasped in shock as her hands shot forward, and she lost her balance, only to be steadied by a strong pair of hands. A familiar heady scent filled her nostrils. She closed her eyes and knew in a moment she’d be gazing into beautiful emerald eyes. His hands were big and felt good on her waist. Why couldn’t she have bumped into him at a more opportune time? Right now all she wanted was to get the hell out of there.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, looking up into his steady gaze. He must have thought she was a complete klutz—first the lounge chair and now this.
“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice soft and husky.
“I’m fine,” she said, and bit down on her bottom lip. “I should’ve been watching where I was going.” She stepped away and motioned towards the dining room.
“Don’t let me keep you. You’ll be late for dinner.”
She turned to leave.
“Excuse me . . . miss,” he called out, extending his hand to her.
“Madalyn,” she murmured and reached out for his hand.
A feathery light sensation traveled up her spine when his hand closed around hers, infusing her with his warmth. Why was she so captivated by this man?
“Madalyn,” he said in a soft voice. “Royce.”
Her lips curled up slightly at the corners. Royce was a sufficiently exotic name for her Adonis. It was unique, just like him. His rich baritone voice was easy on the ears. And she liked the way he wore his hair just a touch too long … perfect for running her fingers through it. Not that she’d have an opportunity to run her fingers through his hair. But if she did, well, she imagined it would feel heavenly.
His eyes probed hers. “You look like you could use a stiff drink. Would you join me for one?”
“You don’t need to skip dinner for me,” she said. “Your friends must be waiting for you.”
“I’m here alone,” he admitted, glancing down at his feet and shoving his hands in his pockets.
How did he manage to look both sexy and adorable?
“You’ll rescue me from a table full of strangers,” he said with a wink. “Right now I’d love to have a drink with you. What do you say?”
Madalyn hesitated and looked everywhere but at him. As much as she found him physically attractive, she felt strange—it was almost like a date, and she hadn’t dated in a very long time. So much for her fling theory. “I don’t think I’d be very good company right now.”
“I didn’t say anything about wanting good company,” he laughed, donning a half-sexy, half-boyish grin. “Please come with me,” he begged softly, widening his eyes.
Her brow arched slightly. She was on the verge of capitulating.
“You can tell me what made you bolt out of the dining room. I’m a great listener,” he continued to coax.
Oh, hell no!
“After coming to your rescue twice in one day, I believe it’s the least you can do.”
Madalyn’s lips twitched and she could no longer contain her smile. The man made an excellent point. She reluctantly nodded her head in agreement. He grabbed her hand, as if afraid she might bolt, and pulled her toward the bar. His smile was contagious—like a child in a candy store with a pocket full of coins.
Madalyn couldn’t help but wonder if she looked like candy.